The Sahel and West Africa Week 2018
The government of The Gambia hosted the 2018 edition of the Sahel and West Africa Week, which took place from 3-8 December in Banjul. Organised by the Sahel and West Africa Club Secretariat (SWAC/OECD), this annual flagship event focused on food and nutrition issues in the Sahel and West Africa. It brought together some 300 food security stakeholders from every Sahelian and West African country as well as development partners. The Week was composed of a series of events, including the 34th annual meeting of the Food Crisis Prevention Network (RPCA), which focused on nutrition issues. While food availability and access to food still remain key challenges, it is also essential to look more closely at food habits in a region that is experiencing a nutritional transition with dietary changes that often come with rapid urbanisation. RPCA members approved a declaration in which they called for a strong commitment to making nutrition a political and financial priority in the Sahel and West Africa in order to reverse negative and destructive nutritional trends. The Banjul meeting was also an opportunity to share the findings of the second external evaluation of the Charter for Food Crisis Prevention and Management (PREGEC Charter), which assessed the effectiveness of responses to food and nutrition crises. Within the Senior Experts’ Group meeting of the Global Alliance for Resilience (SEG-AGIR), Senegal shared its achievements and its commitment to strengthening food resilience, particularly around its “New Resilient Terroirs” (NTR) approach. A special day was dedicated to The Gambia as the host of this year’s meeting. Government officials highlighted key components of The Gambia’s food security strategy, including conservation agriculture and the development of value chains. Last but not least, after over a decade of strong commitment, SWAC President François‑Xavier de Donnea handed over the reins of the organisation to Ibrahim Assane Mayaki, CEO of the NEPAD Agency who became SWAC’s new president on 1 January 2019. The next Sahel and West Africa Week will take place in December 2019 in Conakry, Guinea.